App::Twirc::Manual - User guide and reference for Twirc
Twirc is a twitter client.
it is an IRC/Twitter gateway that makes your favorite IRC client a twitter client.
You can install
twirc just as you would any other CPAN distribution:
Or, you can download and unpack
twirc, then run it from a directory of your choice without running
make install. That's the way the author runs it. If you choose this option, run
make to install
Twirc uses Config::Any, so you can configure
twirc using XML, YAML, JSON, Apache-style configuration, Windows INI file format, or even Perl code.
A configuration file is not necessary, but is recommended.
Here's an example configuration in YAML:
state_file: twirc.state log_level: INFO
The name of the IRC server. Defaults to
twitter.irc. Every IRC server has a name. The IRC server included with
twirc isn't intended to be accessed publicly. It is for your own personal use. So, the name is not significant.
The port number the IRC server binds to. Defaults to 6667.
The local address to bind to. Defaults to all interfaces. You probably want to set this option to
127.0.0.1. That will prevent others from attempting to connect to your
twirc IRC server.
The IRC user/host mask used to restrict connecting users. Defaults to
*@127.0.0.1. If you run
twirc on a different system than your IRC client, you will need to provide this configuration option with a suitable mask.
Password used to authenticate to the IRC server. If you don't provide this option, no password will be required. It adds a bit of security. You may want to set this option if other users have access to your system.
The name of the channel operator bot. Defaults to
tweeter. Select a name that does not conflict with friends, followers, or your own IRC nick.
twirc, you interact with a bot in the channel. The bot carries out commands on your behalf and provides feedback, particularly when there are errors.
Text to be used as the channel operator bot's IRC full name. Defaults to
"Your Friendly Twitter Agent". This is the name that will appear in response to an IRC
The name of the channel where your twitter friends' timelines appear. This is the channel where most of your interaction with
twirc occurs. It defaults to
&. Network channels begin with
#. You can use either to name, however
& is more appropriate.
An alias to use for displaying incoming status updates from the owning user. This is necessary if the user's IRC nickname and Twitter screen name are the same. Defaults to
With the default value
twirc reads a status message in your timeline from your Twitter screen name, it will use
me in place of your Twitter screen name in the channel.
How many status messages to display for selection when favoriting, replying, or retweeting. Defaults to 3.
When displaying a list tweets for selection, for example, in response to the "favorite" command, they will be truncated to this length to avoid cluttering the screen with long messages that wrap. Defaults to 60.
If specified, twirc will post log messages to this channel. If you set this option to
&log, then you can join the
&log channel and see the copious debug messages that
twirc generates. This may be useful for trouble shooting or problem reporting.
File used to store state information between sessions, including Twitter OAuth access tokens, friends, and followers_ids.
twirc you first need to start the server:
bin/twirc -b --state_file=twirc.state
-b option runs
twirc in the background. Drop the
-b to see log messages to STDERR. (The author runs twirc and his irc client in screen, http://www.gnu.org/software/screen/, to monitor log messages to STDERR.)
Next, connect to the server from your IRC client. I use
irssi (http://www.irssi.org) and my examples will use
twirc will automatically join you to the configured channel. The default
Your friends will be automatically joined to the channel. Friends who are also followers are given voice as a visual clue. In
irssi they appear with plus sign (+) in front of their names.
To post a new status update, use the "post" command:
post My first tweet from twirc!
In general, you enter a command followed by its arguments, if any, as a public message in the channel. There's a handy exception to that rule for sending replies. An entry that begins with a nick name, followed by a colon is treated as a reply. E.g.:
twirc: you make twitter usable!
Is a shortcut for:
post @twirc you make twitter usable!
twirc uses the Twitter User Streams API to receive updates in real-time.
Use IRC private messaging to send direct messages. In
/msg friend Watch out, I'm right behind you!
twirc server stops when you disconnect. This isn't normal IRC behavior, but
twirc isn't a normal IRC server. Its only purpose is to interface with Twitter on your behalf and server no useful purpose when you're not connected.
Post a status update. E.g.,
post Now cooking tweets with twirc!
Follow a new Twitter user. This creates a friend relationship and adds the friend to the channel.
Stop following a Twitter friend. This destroys the friend relationship and removes the friend from the channel.
Blocks the Twitter user from receiving your Twitter feed.
Stop blocking a Twitter user.
Displays information about Twitter user.
twitter_user can be either a screen name or email address.
Turns device notifications on or off for the list of one or more Twitter friends. The list is space separated.
Mark a friend's tweet as a favorite. Optionally, specify the number of tweets to display for selection with
count defaults to 3. The default can be changed with the "favorites_count" option.)
Displays information about the remaining number of API requests available in the current hour. The
rate_limit_status command does not count against the limit, itself.
Display a simple help message listing the available command names.
If you're following a particularly noisy friend, you can of course "unfollow" her. Alternatively, you can use your IRC client's features to ignore the user. In
/ignore LoudMouth ALL /ignore -except -pattern @YourName LoudMouth ALL
Now, you won't hear from LoudMouth unless she @replies you, and she won't know you're ignoring her (unless she reads this tip!).
twirc doesn't currently support multiple accounts, there's nothing stopping you from running multiple instances of
twirc, one for each account.
Here's how I do it for accounts
semifor (my personal account) and
twirc's feed for update notices, etc.).
First, the pertinent sections of the configuration files (in YAML format).
# File: semifor.yml irc_server_port: 6667 irc_password: secret irc_channel: '&twitter' # File: twirc.yml irc_server_port: 6668 irc_password: secret irc_channel: '&twirc'
Next, start an instance for each account:
bin/twirc -c semifor.yml -b bin/twirc -c twirc.yml -b
In your IRC client, connect to both instances (
/connect localhost 6667 secret semifor /connect localhost 6668 secret twirc
Now you've got 2 channels, one for each account---in my case,
Plugins are modules that are optionally included by specifying them in user configuration file in the
plugins section. Some of the plugins included in the distribution are:
Squashes whitespace in tweets to a single space. See App::Twirc::Plugin::SquashWhiteSpace.
Commands are prefixed with a bang (i.e., exclamation point "!"). Text entered without a bang prefix is posted as a status update. See App::Twirc::Plugin::BangCommands.
Cross-posts status updates to one or more secondary Twitter (or Twitter API compatible, like Identi.ca) accounts. See App::Twirc::Plugin::SecondaryAccount.
Twirc is free open source software with no warranty of any kind. That said, it's used by some competent perl coders who may be able to help if you have trouble. Try the
#net-twitter channel at
The code repository with the development branch is located at http://github.com/semifor/twirc. New features, and bug fixes appear there before they hit CPAN, so check the commit log there to see if a problem you've found has been addressed. And feel free to use the development branch.
Marc Mims <firstname.lastname@example.org>
semifor on twitter and IRC.